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For Pima County Libraries only - Summer Reading Program

For All Outreach Programs:

Register: Reservations are required with a 30-day minimum advance notice. Your reservation is confirmed when reservation letter has been faxed and/or mailed to you. Reservation Information

Payment: Full payment is due at least two weeks in advance by purchase order, check or credit card. Purchase orders can be faxed or mailed. Checks need to be mailed. Credit cards by mail or phone only. Additional fees for travel 50 miles or more outside our typical service area.

Mailing address: Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Rd., Tucson, AZ 85743, ATTN: Education Department. Fax: 520.578.8020

Desert Discovery Programs at your School

Have us bring a Desert Discovery Program to your school. Most Desert Discovery programs use live animals, museum artifacts, and interactive demonstrations that focus student's attention on natural history topics about the Sonoran Desert. Unless an age group is specified, our Education Specialists can teach these programs for any age group. We can also tailor a program to meet your specific needs. Programs are 45-50 minutes in length and are linked to the Arizona Academic Standards in Science.

Offered: Mon, Tue, Thurs & Fri.
Length: 45-50 minutes
Students: up to 4 presentations of the same lab per day - 30 student maximum per presentation
Program Fee: $200 total for the first two programs: $80 each additional presentation. Two Program Min. - Four Program Max. Fees and program min./max are applied to the same named program conducted on the same day.

Grades PreK - 12
Program Objectives and Academic Standards

PreK & K: A Walk in the Desert
Let's take an imaginary walk through the desert to discover hidden animals and plants. While meeting some of these fascinating desert dwellers, students will identify the special adaptations each has for survival in the desert environment.
Grade 1: Plantastic
Discover the desert plants and animals that interact with the saguaro and meet the animals that depend upon this giant for shelter and food. Learn how the saguaro is adapted to life in the Sonoran Desert. Investigate pollination and seed dispersal to discover how the saguaro and other plants depend upon animals, and vice versa. Students will meet live animals that help the saguaro or are helped by the saguaro.
Grade 2: Arthro-Party
Introduce students to the incredible diversity of Sonoran Desert insects, spiders, and other fascinating arthropods. Examine live animals and preserved specimens to learn about anatomy and adaptations. Determine the important roles of various arthropods in desert food chains, pollination, and our ecosystem.
Grades 3 & 4: Adaptation Station
Desert plants and animals display a fascinating variety of adaptations that help them thrive here. Examine desert plants’ structures to reveal how they deal with the temperature extremes and aridity of this environment. Then meet some live desert animals and identify their secrets to success as desert dwellers.
Grades 3 & 4: Sonoran Supermarket
Today, basic survival for most of us means regular trips to the supermarket. But imagine living in the Sonoran Desert five hundred years ago. Everything you needed came from right here. This program explores local resources that native peoples of the Sonoran Desert - Tohono O'odham, Yaqui, and Seri - have traditionally used for food, medicines, fibers, and more. Students will experiment with ethnobotanical materials to make their own cordage and discover foods and tools they might find in their own backyards. (No live animals used in this program)
Grade 5: Hunters and Hunted
Meet the carnivores of the desert and their prey. Study the skulls and body structures of these animals. Determine how predators are successful hunters, and how their prey is often able to escape!
Grades 6-12: Diversity of Life
Ask most people to describe a “desert” and you’ll likely hear words like dry, hot, and dusty. The Sonoran Desert defies stereotypes with a great variety of plants, animals and ecosystems. Learn why our desert is so diverse and why diversity is good for us, then meet a few of the animals that live in our diverse naturehood!
Grades 6-12: Homes and Biomes
Did you know that the Sonoran Desert Region contains examples of nearly all the terrestrial biomes on the planet? Take a visual tour of some of the biological communities within a day’s drive of your school, meet some of the animals and plants that live there, and learn about their special adaptations to their varied environments.
Grades 6-12: Saving the Naturehood
This program will introduce you to some of the threats facing Sonoran Desert region ecosystems, including invasive species, habitat conversion and climate change. You’ll meet desert animals that are endangered or threatened in the wild and learn about what people are doing to protect them.
Registration Information & Form

Special Event Visit

Does your school/youth group have a Science Fair or festival coming up? If our standard classroom format programs don't meet your needs we can come to your location for a Special Event Visit. Our Desert Museum educators will interact with your group in a festival setting. We will be at a table and provide hands-on exploration of artifacts interspersed with live animal interpretations. (It will depend on suitability of environment for live animals). Recommended for Science Fairs and festivals.

Price: $200 for the first hour. $80 each additional hour (up to 4 hours). Prices are not pro-rated for partial hours. Availability on weekends and evening is very limited. Please reserve early.

Reservation Information & Form